UPDATE – Friday, March 10, 2017: In light of stakeholder input, which the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is considering, OFLC has temporarily removed from its website PERM FAQ Round 14 regarding Actual Minimum Requirements, originally published on March 6, 2017. OFLC will clarify and republish PERM FAQ Round 14 to provide additional information on its applicability to PERM applications and associated prevailing wage requests and determinations. The full announcement can be found here.
We are continuing to monitor these changes and will keep you updated on any new developments.
The Department of Labor (DOL) recently provided new guidance on how job requirements should be described in an ETA 9089 (PERM) that will go into effect on March 20, 2017.
The PERM process has several required steps with unique characteristics, including the high degree of specificity required in the job descriptions and requirements. With the new guidance, the DOL has unfortunately moved to require even more specificity on one key aspect.
The DOL is now requiring employers to state specifically how much experience and/or knowledge with enumerated skills an applicant must have in order to qualify.
- For example, a typical IT job description might have requirements that state, “Must have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science plus 5 years of experience. Must also have experience with Java, C++, and Spring.” Although this would have been sufficient in the past, the new DOL guidance is that such descriptions will result in a case denial.
Under the new guidance, the DOL is requiring that employers state how much experience an applicant would need with any listed technical requirement (e.g., Java, C++, and Spring in the above example). Alternatively, if any amount of experience is permissible, the DOL guidance requires employers to state this clearly.
- An acceptable set of job requirements in the example might be, “Must have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science plus 5 years of experience. Must also have at least 2 years of experience with Java, C++, and at least 1 year of experience with Spring.”
There are several high profile professional groups, including the AILA, who have requested that the DOL delay the implementation of the new guidance. We are monitoring those requests and will keep you updated on any developments.